A Yakima 17-year-old-girl was robbed at Fiesta Foods, and I'm so glad the robber was caught! More about that in a minute...

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I have to share with you my harrowing tale of the time I came close to being robbed. If it wasn't for my quick thinking and "street smarts", as my dad would have called it, I could have been kidnapped, robbed, or worse, killed!

Don't get me wrong, I have been robbed in Yakima before by many car prowlers, including one who stole the WHOLE TIRE off my car, including the wheel. My perilous experience with burglary and theft, however, happened not in Yakima, but in Portland, Oregon.

I was visiting a dear friend and it is a long, LONG story but around 2 in the morning I got separated from her during a wild night out on the town to celebrate my birthday. I had decided to leave my friends and run back to my friend's house for safety. Her home wasn't far from where we were so I thought I could easily make the trek back to her house. I took a detour through a college campus but little did I know a man was following me the entire time, thinking I was easy prey.

As I was running thru the grounds, clutching my tiny purse to my side, I heard a faint male voice in the distance yell out at me, "Ma'am, are you alright?"

"Yes, I'm fine, thank you!" I replied. I kept running to my destination on high alert for shady would-be robbers.

About two minutes later, getting closer to my friend's house I heard the same male voice calling out to me. This time his voice was closer to me, which meant that he was on my tail! In a matter of minutes, the man had caught up to me. Little did he know that whilst I was running, I had pulled out my cell phone and dialed 9-1-1.

"9-1-1, what's your emergency?" the phone operator declared.

"Yes, I am being followed through a college campus here in Portland and I don't know where I am but he is getting close to me!" I uttered, nearly out of breath.

The man had finally caught up to me.

"Hey, are you okay?" he yelled out. My estimation told me that he was literally ten feet from the back of me.

"I'M FINE. LEAVE ME ALONE!" I barked, using all the bass in my voice that I could muster.

He caught up to me and stopped me in my tracks. He stood less than a ruler's length away from my face. The man was a little bit shorter than me, so that would have made him around 5 feet 5 inches.

I was horrified. Was he going to assault me? Was he trying to rob me? Worst case scenarios ran through my mind in those short moments. I decided to do something drastic.

I held up my cell phone to the sky and yelled at him, "ANYTHING YOU DO AND SAY IS BEING RECORDED RIGHT NOW BY THE 9-1-1- DISPATCH!"

The man totally wasn't expecting to hear that! I don't know what he was thinking but the next thing I know, he punched me on my left jaw and took off running into the darkness.

I put my cell phone back up to my ear and the dispatcher asked me where I was. I don't know!" I cried. I was able to give her the name of nearby streets and she told me to keep heading in the direction I was going and that it would lead me to the main streets. Within seconds of me reaching the curb of the main throughway, I saw about four police cars all pulling up at the same time to meet me. They comforted me and asked me questions about the description of the criminal who assaulted me. I was able to give a description, but one of the officers told me that if they were to find the man, I would have to come back to Portland and identify him for prosecution. The last thing I wanted to do was to come back to the place where I feared my life was about to end. I told them I did not want to ever come back to Portland after this harrowing experience.

I highly doubt this man was ever found, but I hope he has stepped on a whole unopened box of Legos in the middle of the night. I hope he accidentally stepped on push pins and they went all the way into his heels.

Because of my experience with a near brush of potential robbery, I am so grateful to read the story at KIMA about the lady who was robbed at Fiesta Foods was able to identify the culprit and he was arrested on-site! Good for you, sister! I am so sorry that happened to you and I hope that justice gets served.

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